In a shocking spam attack, Twitter accounts of well-known US personalities including the former US President and notable billionaires were hacked on Wednesday. The hacked accounts included Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates,Elon Musk and Barack Obama.
Furthermore, the list of hacked accounts also included Kanye West and Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee for the 2020 US Presidential Elections. Hackers used the hacked accounts requesting Twitter users to make donations in light of COVID-19 in cryptocurrency.
Insights into the Worst-ever Spam Attack On Twitter
Hackers tweeted from Barack Obama’s account, “I am giving back to my community due to Covid-19! All Bitcoin sent to my address below will be sent back doubled. If you send $1,000, I will send back $2,000!”
A similar tweet also appeared on Bill Gates account which read, “Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time.I am doubling all payments sent to my BTC address for the next 30 minutes. You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000. Only going on for 30 minutes! Enjoy!”
Twitter CEO calls it a Tough Day
The popular micro-blogging platform found itself in a rather embarrassing position as several verified Twitter handles reportedly got hacked on Wednesday. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that it has been a tough day for us at Twitter.
He added, “We’re diagnosing and will share everything we can when we have a more complete understanding of exactly what happened.”
Furthermore, given the extraordinary situation, the company stopped many verified Twitter accounts from tweeting altogether to control the situation.Additionally, it also disabled several account functions and also denied users the password reset requests.
The verified Twitter users have been allowed to post tweets again but the company has said it is still working on the fix. Cyber-security experts have rendered it as one of the worst cyber-attacks of all times on any of the social media sites.
Notably, the hackers included customized tweets from various accounts making it more believable. For instance, the spam tweet from Elon Musk suggested that he was feeling generous because of COVID-19 before making the request for donation.
Besides these popular US figures, the attack also targeted several company handles including Apple and Uber. Moreover, misleading tweets from US Presidential candidates become even more significant due to the upcoming US Presidential elections.
As per the BBC report, an Instagram account registered as Cryptoforhealthwas set up by the hackers particularly for the attack. The Instagram profile description simply read, “It was us.” The Cryptoforhealth account also posted a message that the earlier Wednesday attack was a charity attack and all the money collected would find its way to the right place.
Don’t fall into the trap of doubling your bitcoins
Besides the scale, the idea behind the attack isn’t entirely new. Hackers have been luring users with “double your Bitcoin” baits for years now.
However, in a further concerning bit, news reports claim that some of the hackers were somehow able to get hold of some administration privileges enabling them to bypass password security of these accounts.
Money seems to be the only motivation behind the huge attack. Moreover, they also knew that the tweets are unlikely to stay up for long so they had been trying to make the most of whatever time they get. However, with the kind of access and power they reportedly, the attack could easily have been much worse too.
The first officially recognized Bitcoin billionaire, Cameron Winklevoss also warned the users against participating in the attack citing it as a spam.
Precautions and awareness against such attacks is definitely a must on all social media platforms. Moreover, the attack also raises serious concerns around user safety on the platform especially for the ordinary users when verified accounts of notable personalities could be hacked on such a large scale.